Taverns, inns and innkeepers
- The Czech word for tavern, ‘hospoda’, may originate from the Latin ‘hospes’ – guest, ‘hospitium’ – hospitality, shelter, though the more likely etymology is from the old Slavonic ‘gospod, gospodja’ – the Master of the House.
- Alehouses were an integral part of all medieval villages. Originally, beer was drawn in what was called the ‘maashouse’, an area on the ground floor of a townhouse whose owner had brewing rights, while special-purpose taverns and inns came along later. These served as places for social events, meetings, trading and lodgings. Some inns had rooms for overnight guests and special stables and spaces for carriages – these were called wagoners’ inns and were located out of town at crossroads and along trade routes. The seating was more often outdoors than indoors.
- It was said of Wenceslas IV that he was fond of visiting taverns and alehouses to eavesdrop on what the locals had to say about him and to check that the owners were complying with his edicts.
- In the Middle Ages, no one took exception to alcohol. The Germans, Russians and Czechs, in particular, were Europe’s fabled drinkers. There was a formal curfew at dusk, or when the night watchman began his rounds, although drinking and feasting often went on until the early morning hours.
- In KCD we have tried to keep the image of medieval taverns faithful to surviving records.
Henry can pay for lodgings for a single night and this costs relatively little, but he can also pay for lodgings for "several nights" for around 200. This might seem like a steep amount to pay, but it means he will have permanent access to a bed (and accompanying storage chest) at the inn.